Archived Story

Horn, O’Neal up for best coach in state

Published 4:26pm Monday, October 7, 2013

Two local coaches are among the nominees for USA Today’s “Best High School Coach” competition.
Benjamin Russell football coach Danny Horn and Reeltown football coach Jackie O’Neal were among eight coaches nominated from the state of Alabama.
Horn, a three-time winner of the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s coach of the year award, has won six state championships over his coaching career.
Under Horn’s direction, the Clay County Panthers set a record for the longest winning streak in the state of Alabama by a high school football team. The Panthers won 55 consecutive games from 1994-1997.
This past Friday, Horn won his 250th game as a coach when Benjamin Russell defeated Russell County 42-13. His overall record as a coach is 250-66.
O’Neal is also a three-time winner of the ASWA coach of the year award. Having spent the entirety of his 26-year coaching career at Reeltown, O’Neal has guided the Rebels to six state championship games, with two of those trips resulting in victories.
O’Neal’s overall record as a coach is 225-98. O’Neal is also a member of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
As of press time, Horn is currently leading all other nominees in votes received.
In order to cast your vote for best coach in the state of Alabama, visit
Voting ends today at 11 a.m., with the top vote-getter advancing to the regional round.
Voting for that round starts Oct. 9.
The athletic department of the winning coach will receive $2,000. Second through fifth places also receive cash prizes for the athletic departments: second ($1,000), third ($500), fourth ($250) and fifth ($100). All eight national finalists receive banners for their schools.